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Willis ready for fun stretch of games that includes trip to Bahamas

Derek Willis (Photo by Barry Westerman | UK Athletics)

Derek Willis (Photo by Barry Westerman | UK Athletics)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Starting with this afternoon’s game against Cleveland State, senior Derek Willis says Kentucky has a fun stretch of games coming up.

“Cleveland State’s a good team. I haven’t really seen what they have or anything, but from what we’ve heard they’re a pretty good team. Friday—we play a game Friday, right? So don’t even know who (Tennessee-Martin) we play. I haven’t looked at that,” Willis said Tuesday.

“That’s just how our team is. We kind of just go game by game and focus on that. And after that’s over, then it’s the next team. I’m looking really forward to going to the Bahamas (to play Arizona State on Monday). That’s always a fun trip. It was fun. I think it was my sophomore year we went. I had a great time and a great environment and just looking forward to being back there.”

Willis went through a lot of ups and downs last season. Already this season he’s gone from a brilliant first half in UK’s first game to losing his starting spot to freshman Wenyen Gabriel.

“It’s kind of like motivated me, just to work on the things that I need to work on. I’m happy for Wenyen. I’m glad he got to start. I feel like he’s deserved it. He’s played with high energy. He’s played with a really high motor, so it’s just hard to want to keep a player like that off the court. I get that,” Willis said.

“But it’s also kind of helped me too. It’s pushed me in practice and stuff, made me focus more on the things I need to work on.”

 

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